Hurricane helper gets dangerous infection from flood waters

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Hurricane helper gets dangerous infection from flood waters. Registered Nurse Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on September 27, 2017. (WPVI)

The flood waters may have receded in Houston, but the risk for infection is a cause for concern.

J.R. Atkins almost lost his arm and his life to a flesh-eating bacteria.

It started when he got a mosquito bite while kayaking through floodwaters to check on neighbors.

Strep-A bacteria in the water got into the bite, and quickly infected his arm.

It took three operations and 4 antibiotics to stop the bacteria.

Atkins says he never imagined being in such a life or death struggle.

"You hear about fatalities, people losing limbs, there's a lot of really gruesome things that happen to people out there," he said.

Public health authorities' say the danger isn't over, and that the bacteria can still be on anything the floodwaters touched.

Meanwhile, a Houston research team has identified a target in Strep-A bacteria.

It could help doctors to block the toxins, and cut the severity of infections.
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Related Topics:
healthhealthcheckinfectionhurricane harveyflesh eating bacteria
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